Manual lymphatic drainage massage.
It’s not a term you may have heard before, but it’s a well established and very beneficial form of massage therapy.
I visited Nicola Kenworthy at her home clinic in Reading on one of the hottest days of the year to find out more about this treatment and have a lymphatic facial massage myself.
I don’t place a very high priority on these types of treatments normally, always favouring a ‘doing’ activity than a ‘done for you’ activity. However I’d heard a lot about the benefits and thought it would a good introduction to what Nicola offers.
Manual lymphatic drainage (or MLD) works by massaging the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a vast array of capillaries and vessels within our system that circulates the lymph fluid through it.. It is larger than the cardiovascular system but has one main difference. It has no pumps to move the fluid around the body, it relies on muscle action through exercise, movement or massage.
It is an important part of the immune system and can make the difference between how quickly you recover after an operation, how puffy your ankles are, how quickly you can be treated following a whiplash accident and much more.
Nicola told me how she helps pregnant ladies with their cankles, post-operative cases to reduce swelling and inflammation and uses the facials to remove puffiness and promote healthy skin and relaxation.
We completed a consent and health form and then went to the treatment room.
Despite the heat, the room was cool and dark and I had to lie face up on the couch.
The facial started with a bit of a wash. Using a full range of natural skin care Nicola starts the massage with a cleanse and moisturise. It’s a bit odd having someone wash your face for you. I decided fairly early on that I’d never make good royalty.
This process involved several different approaches with different products, all of which were very pleasant on the skin. The whole process involved a series of facial massage moves that were both extremely gentle and slightly strange feeling.
For a start I can’t remember ever having my nose quite so massaged and my jowls manipulated so gently. The massage is for the face, shoulders and arms and hands. It is light and repetitive using light stokes to encourage the lymph fluid to move to the lymph ducts in the neck where it drains.
This isn’t the kind of massage that you can sleep through. However it is incredibly relaxing and I felt as though my legs were asleep and was quite unable to pinpoint where they were as I lay on the couch as they were so heavy.
After an hour it came to an end and I slowly got my head and body reconnected so that I could leave.
When I first lay down I wanted to remember all the moves and phases so I could give you more detail. However, that became impossible as I relaxed very quickly and stayed there. It is a very deeply relaxing treatment and I can only imagine what a full massage treatment would feel like.
If you’ve just had an operation, are about to go in for an operation, have circulation problems, inflammation and swelling that stops you from functioning fully I recommend that you give Nicola a ring. She’s calm and professional and has focused only on LMD so as to be a true expert in her field.
Well worth a trip.
- Nicola Kenworthy
- Tel: 07775 772477